News

Transformation of Colston Hall is underway as new funding announced

Our ambitious transformation of Colston Hall is now well underway after we received a further boost to our fundraising goal with a combined donation of £750,000.

The funding total of £750,000 has been donated in equal parts by The Wolfson Foundation, Garfield Weston and The Foyle Foundation to help with the transformation of the Hall.

The funding marks another huge step forward for our fundraising campaign for the extensive £48.8m transformation of the venue, taking the total raised to £43.5 million. The largest capital arts programme ever to take place in the south west, the Hall is due to reopen as the leading centre for music performance, education and enterprise in the region and one of the best venues in the UK and Europe.

Paul Ramsbottom, Chief Executive of the Wolfson Foundation said:

“We are delighted to be working in partnership with our friends at Weston and Foyle in supporting the redevelopment of the Hall. The work will help to create a world-class venue for Bristol and the region. I am particularly pleased that there is such a focus on imaginatively preserving the important heritage elements of the building.”

Louise Mitchell, Chief Executive of Bristol Music Trust, the organisation that runs Colston Hall, said:

“We are hugely grateful for the generous funding contribution from these three foundations marking fantastic progress towards our overall fundraising goal.

“We are now starting the project in earnest, beginning to strip out the building, and carefully preserving important parts of the Hall’s heritage. Thanks to this funding, and other contributions, our fundraising campaign is in great shape for us to deliver a world-class venue for Bristol to be proud of.”

The transformation began in June with parts of the Hall being carefully preserved and transported to new homes across the country. Seats from the main auditorium have now been removed and generously donated to benefit venues around the city including the Trinity Centre, where concert goers can also enjoy live music as part of the Colston Hall Present’s programme.

Our Steinway piano has also been transported to a new home at the Bristol Plays Music Centre in Southmead for the benefit of young people taking part in lessons and ensembles there.

Wooden cladding from the Main Hall, the much-loved plaster cherub decorations and 1950s chandeliers have also been carefully preserved and stored in order to be reused in the new building.

All 5,372 pipes of the Hall’s famous Harrison & Harrison organ have also now been carefully removed. Every individual pipe, tube and whistle has been catalogued and transported back to Durham, where it was originally constructed, for refurbishment and storage.

The transformation of Colston Hall will result in Bristol being home to one of the best arts and learning facilities in the country. The two-year project will see the Main Hall completely remodelled and The Lantern building revitalised and reimagined whilst  the venue’s extensive cellars will be opened up for the first time in 150 years, creating a new intimate performance space and modern education suite.

For more information about our project to transform the hall, click here.

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